Spicy braised chicken

Dakbokkeumtang 닭볶음탕

Dakbokkeumtang (닭볶음탕) is very popular spicy chicken dish in Korea. It’s also called dakdoritang (닭도리탕).

This video is a remake of an earlier one I made in 2011 in Amsterdam with my reader Sarah. It was during my Gapshida tour, and Sarah hosted a meetup in her house. Ever since then when I have dakbokkeumtang I have to think about that beautiful time with my readers. Now as I update this video it’s already 2019 and I can’t believe how much time has passed! I hope everyone at the meetup has a happy life and is in good health, and I hope they are still making Korean dishes!


Usually dakbokkeumtang is made with chunks of whole chicken. Since I first posted this recipe many people have told me they made it with chicken breast, but it never sounded like a good idea to me because chicken breast is often so dry. But I’ve been experimenting for some time now, trying to make juicy dakbokkeumtang with chicken breast.  I’ve found that using milk works well, and it also gets rid of any chicken smell. I also use apple instead of sugar. I was very happy when the experiments turned out successful enough to share with you.

Even though I’ve updated this recipe and video, the original video will always remain, because the recipe is delicious and a part of my life and memories. No matter what ingredients are available to you – chicken breasts, wings, or thighs, sugar or apple – you can make great dakbokkeumtang.

Enjoy the recipe! Be happy with your delicious dakbokkeumtang!


Serves 2 to 3

  • 1 pound chicken breasts (about 2 large chicken breasts)
  • ¼ cup milk
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 small apple, peeled, cored, and sliced thinly (about 1 cup)
  • 8 ounces potato, peeled and cut into 1/2 to 1 inch thick bite sized chunks
  • 1 medium onion (6 ounces), sliced
  • 1 green chili pepper, chopped
  • 2 green onions, cut into 1 inch long


For seasoning paste:


Prepare the chicken:

  1. Cut each breast crosswise into 2½ inch chunks. You will get about 4 pieces.
  2. Make 1 inch deep slits into each chunk ½ inch apart.  Transfer them all to a medium bowl and sprinkle the salt over top and in the slits evenly.
  3. Add the milk and gently mix to marinate. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to 2 hours.

Meanwhile make the seasoning paste:

  1. Combine all the ingredients in a small bowl and mix well with a spoon.

Cook dakbokkeumtang:

  1. Put a piece of chicken on the cutting board, the slit side up. Use your hands to push a few apple slices into each slit.
  2. Then transfer it to a pan or pot. I use a shallow 9½ inch pan that’s 2½ inches deep.
  3. Repeat with the rest of chicken and the apple slices. If you have some leftover apple slices, put them anywhere in the pan.
  4. Add the seasoning paste over the top of the chicken and add 2½ cups water. Cover and cook for 15 minutes over medium high heat.dakbokkeumtang (Korean spicy braised chicken: dakdoritang: 닭볶음탕, 닭도리탕
  5. Add the potato, onion, and green chili pepper. Gently stir the chicken and vegetables with a wooden spoon. Cover, reduce the heat to medium, and cook for another 15 minutes. If it boils over or the water is boiled down, add more water and crack the lid open a little.  dakbokkeumtang (Korean spicy braised chicken: dakdoritang: 닭볶음탕, 닭도리탕
  6. Open and add the green onions. Turn up the heat to medium high and stir for 1 minute until vigorously bubbling.dakbokkeumtang (Korean spicy braised chicken: dakdoritang: 닭볶음탕, 닭도리탕
  7. Remove from the heat


  1. Transfer to the table and serve right away in the pan with rice, kimchi, and a few more side dishes. If you cook this in a large pot, you can use a ladle and transfer to a plate and serve.



  1. Chiacchiera Redwood City, California joined 10/19 & has 1 comment

    Love your recipe, so tasty and the leftovers are scrumptiously delicious!
    I am not into overly spicy food (just a bit spicy) and this dish was too hot for my family. What can I modify to make this dish just a little less spicy-hot? Any help would be greatly appreciated.
    BTW, i marinated the chicken in buttermilk and it was very tasty

  2. yangjein Salt Lake City joined 7/19 & has 1 comment

    Hi Maangchi!

    Can you tell me the name of the shallow pot that you are using??

    thank you so much!!

  3. Mamtha Germany joined 5/19 & has 1 comment

    Hello Maangchi

    we love spicy dishes. i have crazy Korean cuisine fan – my daughter :).
    i am really gonna try this dish

    i am so impressed by your cleanliness while cooking :)


  4. Eby1 Israel joined 5/19 & has 2 comments

    It looks amazing and I would like to try it!
    in case some one is allergic to. Lactose, do you think I can replace the milk with water? Or, could you suggest any other liquid instead?

    Many thanks, for all of your great recipes.

    • jsp73 joined 3/15 & has 27 comments

      Milk works, but there are several ways to keep such a lean cut of chicken moist. Not all involve milk. My recommendation is brine, but you HAVE to be cautious or your chicken will become overly salty — especially considering how small she cuts the chicken. Here’s an overview of a few of the ways to keep breasts tender and moist –
      A. Milk, not common, but I can see how it works because milk DOES contain lactic acid and that will tenderize chicken.
      B. Buttermilk – many more acids and active cultures to tenderize chicken. This technique has been used in the Southern US for ages when making moist, delicious fried chicken.
      C. Yogurt – has been used for centuries in more than one country to tenderize chicken — (tandoori, for example). Same principle as buttermilk.
      D. Some citrus – kiwi in particular, but I do not recommend this for this particular recipe because of the flavor and, finally,
      E. BRINING — a classic technique. You will need to look it up to understand the chemistry. Basically, equal parts sugar and salt (or even honey and salt — even Korean rice syrup and salt!) dissolved in water. Via osmosis, this changes the chemistry of the exterior of the meat (or all of it… if done too long… will turn meat into something that tastes like “ham” if you are not careful about brining time). Do a web search “BRINE CHICKEN”. Breasts, especially when cut up, definitely don’t need to be brined for more than an hour.

  5. stonefly Olympia WA joined 11/11 & has 61 comments

    This is such a wonderful dish. But I miss the “Quarter cup day!” comment! And great to see you love the same sparkling water that I love!

  6. msf1949 canada joined 3/19 & has 1 comment

    I love your recieps and website. Might I suggest that you set it up with a print button for the recipes? It is difficult to cut and paste it all into another document suitable for printing. Thanks

  7. Ixj3ivivxi Oakland joined 12/18 & has 8 comments

    Yummy yummy!

    See full size image

  8. aevrilx Singapore joined 2/19 & has 2 comments

    We absolutely love this recipe. Easy to follow and extremely delicious. Thank you, Maangchi!

  9. jsp73 joined 3/15 & has 27 comments

    Maybe my memory is not good, but I swear I remember eating this with carrots in it at different points in time when I lived in Korea. Are there any subtle differences that have to do with the name of the dish??? (I always asked for dakdoritang). Is that unusual?

  10. Akikyo Boca Raton, FL joined 1/19 & has 2 comments

    Sooo good!!!! Great flavor. Garlicy, spicy, a hint of sweetness from the soy and sugar and tender chicken and potatoes. Yummmm!! I added eggs because I needed to use them. Didn’t have any green onions but still tasted amazing. Will definitely make again!! Thank you!

    See full size image

  11. VeganLegation Europe joined 6/17 & has 17 comments

    Hello Maangchi! Maybe you are wondering but we cooked Dak-bokkeumtang too :-)! We use seitan instead of poor chicken and we love the recipe!

    See full size image

  12. Cutemom Indonesia joined 3/13 & has 81 comments

    Hi, maangchi eonni!

    I use your recipe as a guide to season my chicken burger. I season my ground chicken w/ your seasoning sauce recipe, shape & freeze my patties. When i grill one of them to eat with rice “buns” and topped with kimchi instead of lettuce & tomato. It tasted so good that my son asked for second.

    Thanks for all of the easy recipe

  13. Vick_cf Texas joined 4/18 & has 5 comments

    I used 1 Jalapeno pepper, but it didn’t turn out as spicy as I would’ve liked. I’ll use 2-4 Serrano peppers next time. However, yet another great recipe! Thank you Maangchi.

  14. Jini joined 5/15 & has 2 comments

    Love your recipe! My son also gave it a try. He said it was a bit spicy. But, he still ate my “stew”. This is the first time I added peppers. There wasn’t the type of peppers you used, so I bought Serrano peppers. I just added 4 small slices, and I could feel that different heat. Wow. Thanks Maangchi!

    See full size image

More comments to read! Jump to page: 1 4 5 6

Leave a Reply